Written By CMA exam Guest Blogger Ashley G.
Although I took my exam on 2/28/2012 (the last testing date of the testing window), I received my score on 4/12/2012 (talk about the waiting game). For all of the readers out there, I thought I would share my score and provide some advice. Some people might feel a perfect score is scoring the highest possible score; however, for me, 360 is the perfect score.
I once read an article a few years ago when I first began studying for the CMA (when it was a 4-part exam) where the author claimed that the goal is to achieve optimal efficiency and effectiveness when it comes to exam performance. Think of this as break-even analysis. This individual said that if you consume your life with studies and score an absolute perfect score, you have over-studied. Therefore, you have achieved effectiveness (by passing) but have missed the mark on efficiency. If you study and procrastinate, however, and fail the exam, you have achieved neither effectiveness nor efficiency.
When I studied for both the CPA and CMA, I used the 1-month approach (warning: this isn’t meant for everyone). I study for about 1 month for each section. This means being diligent 100% of the time and focusing on the finish line. The only time this did not work was when I sat for CMA Part II the first time (it took two tries). I scored a 330, which was as a result of not being diligent and letting work get the best of me. To study and work at the same time is the hardest and most admirable task I can think of (besides adding children and other obligations to the equation).
You have to stop to think what is best for YOU. Much like weight-loss, everyone is different! For myself, and I did learn this the hard way, studying for several months results in procrastination and putting off study plans. It would turn into “I can miss one day. What’s one day?” After this approach resulted in me failing the CMA and CPA several times, I changed my study routine (slow and steady did not win the race for me). For my lifestyle, 1 month has been the perfect plan, although I have no significant other and no children. I do, however, have an intense work environment, which requires traveling, minimal obligations, distractions, etc.).
What was my score you ask? A perfect 360. As a final note, I would like to give a huge thanks to my Support System. I would also like to thank Gleim for granting me the opportunity to document my experience (the ups and downs). This will definitely be a piece of history in my life that I share with future generations. It’s incredible having the ability to sit back and reflect on what I went through. I would encourage anyone out there to journal their progress – it helps. I hope my entries have helped the readers out there in their exam preparations.